The Howe Ridge & Boundary Fires Update: September 7

By | September 7, 2018

From Bill Walker…

Here is the official press release for Glacier Park’s Howe Ridge and Boundary fires.

Recorded Fire Information: 406-888-7077

Fire Information: 406-578-8256  8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Website: Howe:



Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800,

Special Note: Starting today, Friday, September 7, the Park will begin offering limited visitor access on the west side portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors will be required to use shuttle or tour services to travel through the closed area in order to provide for visitor safety and firefighter access. Currently, private vehicles will not be allowed in the closure. Visitors can ride the Park shuttle system from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass, with no stops. Free Park shuttle passes from Apgar Visitor Center will be required. For more information on shuttles, Red Bus and Sun Tours go to To make reservations for a ride to Logan Pass visit for Red Bus Tours and for Sun Tours.

Weather: Mostly clear weather early, becoming cloudier as the day progresses. Maximum temperatures at lower elevations will be up to 80F degrees, and 60F to 70F on ridges. Smoke will again be trapped in the valleys by an inversion until mid-day. Winds will be variable at 5-10 mph, gusting to 20 mph, and will pick up mid-day. A low pressure system will arrive tonight, bringing instability in conditions and a slight chance of rain, increasing into the weekend.

Howe Ridge Statistics
Location:  NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 13,226 ac. Containment: 15%
Cause: Lightning Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $9.9 Million
Structures Lost

Residence: 13

Minor Structures: 14


Crews:  1 Engines: 8
Personnel: 174

Howe Ridge:

Yesterday, crews initiated another burnout operation further south along the Inside North Fork Road to continue removal of fuels adjacent to the road. This greatly reduced the chance of the fire building momentum and spotting across control lines. Helicopters were also utilized for bucket drops. Fire has not crossed west of the Inside North Fork Road. Fire activity in the northeast area near the Going-to-the-Sun Road was quiet yesterday, with minimal growth.  Crews continue to monitor the fire as it slowly backs downslope into the cedar and hemlock forest below where it is mostly smoldering.

Today, most fire activity will continue to be on the west side of the fire, as it backs towards the Inside North Fork Road. Crews will hold and improve the line along the road, patrol for fire spread and remove hazard trees as the fire moves south. Burnout operations will occur only as needed in response to fire activity.

Boundary Statistics
Location:  Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 1,738  ac. Containment: 12%
Cause: Unknown Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $395,000
Crews1 Personnel: 19


Yesterday firefighters continued constructing fireline to prevent further spread of hot spots north of Boundary Creek and south of the international boundary. Helicopters again helped check fire on the east side. This perimeter is holding well. Today, firefighters will continue building fireline and scout areas to establish other fireline in Boundary Creek to prevent spread to the east, utilizing aircraft to cool hotter areas. No significant growth of the fire is expected at this time, with assessments showing fuels here to be mostly green, which is helping slow fire spread. Canadian and U.S. fire managers are continuing to coordinate efforts closely and are in constant communication about fire activity and response.


The majority of Glacier National Park is open. Open areas include Apgar, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier and the North Fork. The Howe Ridge fire is burning in less than 1% of Glacier’s 1 million acres. The temporary closure area for public safety and fire suppression access is approximately 93,500 acres, or less than 10% of the park.

 Evacuations: Evacuation orders are in place for North Lake McDonald Road (private residences and the Lake McDonald Ranger Station), Lake McDonald Lodge area (all businesses, employees, and private residences), and private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek Campgrounds.

Closures:The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open for 18 miles between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed to private vehicles for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. As of today, Friday, September 7, Glacier National Park will be offering limited shuttle and tour services from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass. For more information about free Park shuttle passes and details on riding the shuttles, please visit The North Lake McDonald and Fish Creek Roads are closed. The Inside North Fork Road is closed from Fish Creek to Logging Creek. Trail closures are associated with this fire; full trail closures are reflected on the park’s website at:

Aircraft Assigned: All aircraft are shared among the fires within Glacier National Park and the Flathead

National Forest being managed by Mike Goicoechea’s Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team. Two type 1 and three type 3 helicopters are currently assigned to the incident.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires. Drones can shut down critical fire operations, and launching, landing or operating drones is prohibited in Glacier National Park

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About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.

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